Update to the Carcase Saw Review
We reviewed six premium carcase saws in the Autumn 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine, and while all of the saws performed quite well, the Gramercy carcase saw took top honors. (That bit of information is free; for the rest, please buy the issue. My children haven’t eaten meat for a week.)
Whenever we review tools, there are always some parts of the tools that we don’t like or would change. And this review was no exception. Some saws were a little toe-heavy, for example. When our five editors compared handles, all of us agreed that the tote on the Medallion Toolworks saw was a bit too girthy. The tote was a full 1″ thick and some of the editors had a bit of difficulty grasping it comfortably for long periods. (Also, we should note that the Medallion Toolworks tote was by far the best looking and highly finished).
Well sawmaker Ed Paik takes customer service seriously. After he read our review he built a new saw with a modified handle to try to address our concerns. You might think that Ed did this because we are a magazine, but his customers tell me otherwise. Ed is a custom maker, so he’s not happy until the customer is.
Ed gave us the new saw at our Woodworking in America Conference in St. Charles, Ill., and I’ve been breaking it in a bit and getting comfortable with it. Today I asked the staff to use the saw and compare it to the Gramercy saw, which was the winner.
Associate Editor for the Web Drew Depenning said the new Medallion saw was much improved in comfort. It’s a bit thinner (.95″ thick) and has less width. Drew noted that he still thought the Gramercy was easier to start.
Senior Editor Robert W. Lang also said the Medallion was more comfortable, but now he thought it was too small for his large hands. He also thought the Gramercy was too small, so this should come as no surprise. Bob also noted that the Medallion was a bit less toe-heavy , Ed canted the sawblade a bit. Now the depth of cut is a little narrower at the toe.
I think the saw handle is much improved, and it is tied with my favorite tote of the bunch (the Eccentric Toolworks saw). I contend that the Gramercy is still the easiest to start of the bunch and the smoothest, though the Medallion is wicked fast (like the Adria).
Then Managing Editor Megan Fitzpatrick tried the new Medallion and claimed it as her own.
Bottom line: If you had any reservations about the Medallion Toolworks saw because of our comments on the tote, forget them. Ed will make you feel real comfortable.
– Christopher Schwarz